As someone who is particularly fond of the English language and all its crazy eccentricities, this book really appeals to me.
The bi-line on the front cover reads: ‘All the letters that misbehave and make words nearly impossible to pronounce’ and that about sums it up! Each page of this book looks at a different letter of the alphabet and the various ways in which that letter is used. For example, rather than ‘C is for cat’, here we have:
‘C is for Czar. Shhh! The fascinating czar is secretly part Czech.’
This is not your typical alphabet book and certainly not one you would use with pre-schoolers, but it’s a lot of fun for the older kids!
Why I love it:
I am always telling my students how clever they are to have mastered the English language – it’s not an easy one! I love that this book finds humour in some of our language’s craziest spelling patterns and phonemes. It would also be a terrific teaching tool for those same spelling patterns.
It’s a bit of fun, with a bit of learning thrown in – perfect for The Sunshine Collective!
Themes to discuss with your child:
- Rules and exceptions
- Language conventions
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
- How do you think you pronounce the name of this book?
- What is strange about the pronunciation?
- What kind of animal is a pterodactyl?
- What does the sentence under the title, say?
- Can you think of any other words that might be in this book?
- Did you enjoy this book? Why/why not?
- What was your favourite page?
- Did you learn any new words from reading this book? Which ones were new to you?
- Can you remember how to spell any of the words from the book? Which ones?
- Can you think of any other tricky English words that were not included?
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